It appears that Nicola Sansone and Roberto Soriano will not return to Villarreal after their successful loan spells at Bologna. The Italian side are not yet mathematically safe from relegation, but they are now up to 14th in the Serie A table and are eight points ahead of 18th with four matches left to play.
EPM reports that if Bologna survive in Serie A, they are required to buy Sansone for €8m; in Soriano’s case, there is a non-compulsory ‘preferential’ option (right of first refusal, really) also for €8m. Given Soriano’s performance since joining Bologna, it’s likely that will be exercised, too.
Villarreal paid €28m for the two in the summer of 2016 and both signed five-year deals. From an accounting point of view, the transfer fee is amortized over the life of the contract, so at the end of this season, the book value of the two, with 40% of their contracts remaining, will be (0.4*28m)= €11.2m. I believe Villarreal collected a loan fee, too, so while from a cash standpoint we are losing money (€28m spent in 2016 vs say €17m recovered in 2019) from an accounting standpoint, we are coming out ahead.
Roberto Soriano could be at times one of our most technically gifted players and at other times, one of our more petulant ones. His first year with Villarreal was excellent, with ten goals and seven assists, almost always playing as a left midfielder. But the following season, his minutes we halved and he had no goals and no assists, and was shuttled around various midfield positions. (Since returning to Italy, he’s been deployed as a central attacking midfielder).
Nicola Sansone has been rather more of a fan favorite, but whether due to injuries (of which he has had a number) or something else, he’s frequently been the odd man out.
He began his Villarreal career with some success—seven goals in his first-half season, playing largely as a secondary striker. But in the second half of the 2016-17 season he had various injuries and saw his playing time dwindle, scoring only one more goal. 2017-18 saw him used more as a left winger, and he missed three months with a calf injury; he finished with a creditable five goals in only 625 minutes played.
And for whatever reason, this season saw him relegated to virtually no playing time, only 34 minutes in cameo appearances. He picked up a goal (a typing goal against Rayo) and an assist (tying goal against Levante) in his 34 minutes for Villarreal. In January he was loaned to Bologna; he’s been playing as a left winger there and has two goals and four assists in 14 appearances, not earthshaking but certainly creditable.
I would assume Bologna will be negotiating contracts for both players soon, and assuming no snags there the deals should be completed early in the summer.